As a foodie I love to try new flavours. Of course not everything will work but then if you don’t experiment you will never know. Now one of my food loves is cheese. I love a range of cheeses and one that I use most often at home is Parmesan. Parmesan is an extremely versatile cheese and can be used in a larger range of dishes that one may think and this was demonstrated at a press event I was recently invited to at a restaurant called Brooksby’s Walk located in Hackney, East London.
At the restaurant we were invited to Taste an exclusive menu created by Ferdinand Montoya, Head Chef of Brooksyby’s Walk, that included three different ages of Parmigiano Reggiano.
All invited were treated to a 7 course bespoke menu, which featured different aged Parmigiano Reggiano in new and exciting ways, whilst dining outside on the Brooksby’s Walk roof terrace. These dishes were paired with specific wines and cocktails by the head bartender, James McMahon.
There to oversee the event and welcoming us at the door was none other than the owner Jim McMarn a friendly chap who made us all a delicious gin and vodka cocktail on arrival to be drunk with the first course:
Parmigiano Reggiano cracker (18 month), oyster emulsion and pickled cucumber.
These went well and you could taste the cheese coming though. The cracker with topping were packed with flavour and very nice.
The restaurant and bar has been set up in a converted 1930’s toilet and as you can see below they have kept some of the original urinals although they are no longer functioning in that way.
Upstairs is a terrace where private functions are held. It was nice to be able to enjoy a meal outdoors on a lovely summer evening and the staff were very friendly, attentive and chatty.
Chef Ferdinand explained to all about the food and how they used a mixture of rinds from the cheese for the butter and 24 month Parmesan was sprinkled on the rolls.
As we tucked into the bread: Parker rolls and Parmigiano butter we could taste the cheese which was not too strong and the butter had been beautifully whipped to make it gorgeously smooth and light.
The bread and butter and starter were paired with Weinland “Theodora,” Gut Oggau. This wine has a low sulphur content and aromas of under ripe melon, kiwi and yeasty notes. It went well with the bread and starter.
Parmigiano Reggiano (18 month) and Mussel Chawanmushi.
This was an interesting dish with a scrambled egg consistency. There were nice sized pieces of mushroom and whole mussels hidden away within. The flavour was very light, not excessively fishy. I thought it was passable flavour and texture wise but a smaller serving would have worked better. It’s not something I would choose of the menu myself.
Saddle of Rabbit, Dumplings and carrots with 30 month Parmigiano Reggiano
I was unsure at first as I have pet rabbits and hadn’t eaten rabbit before but when it arrived and looks and smelt really appetising I sheepishly tried it. The dish was full of flavour. The various components worked well and made the dish interesting and the flavours all complemented each other.
This was served with Radikon Slatnik 2015. Chardonnay which was little like a cider and very easy to drink with its peach and apricot flavours.
Frozen Lime and 24 month Parmigiano Reggiano Mousse
Paired with a Pine Gin and Sweet Lime Gimlet
The mousse was not something I would have personally included in the menu. If I wanted a palette cleanser a simple portion of lime sorbet would have worked better. On the other hand the drink was delicious and was served in a chilled glass. This was lovely and I wouldn’t let the staff take my glass until I had finished the whole thing which took a while.
Honey and Thyme Ice Cream, 24 month Parmigiano Reggiano Panna Cotta and Chocolate Textures
Paired with Homemade Green Walnut Liqueur
This was delicious. I barely made a sound whilst eating this so as not to take from the enjoyment of the dish. It was lovely and if by this stage I was not pretty stuffed I could have gladly eaten another. The ice cream was lovely, who knew those flavours would work so well.
The liqueur was also nice. It was as one would expect sweet and reminded me of my herbal medicine tinctures. The restaurant make this themselves and I must say they did a good job.
Parmigiano Reggiano (30 month) and Balsamic Canele
Paired with a Citrus Pisco Foam
The amuse bouche was a little chewy and not really necessary. On the other hand the foam was divine. It was full of flavour and nice and citrusy and of course very light so a nice way to cleanse the palette and end the meal.
Overall I enjoyed the tasting experience and was pleased to have tried some great new flavours. I was impressed how well they had worked the various aged Parmigiano Reggiano into the dishes as it worked well.
How much do you like cheese? Would you try a 7 course tasting menu featuring Parmigiano Reggiano?
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